Captivating Creatives Feature | GE Creative, LLC | Lifestyle & Documentary Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, GE Creative!

Captivating Creatives Feature | GE Creative, LLC | Lifestyle & Documentary Photographer

Meet Gina! Based in Milwaukee & serving Minneapolis as well, GE Creative specializes in weddings, portraits, small business branding, and equine photography! Her editing style is moody, vintage, rich, and packs a punch. She loves tack sharp images that feel real; as if you could insert yourself in the frame. Her shooting style is emotion-focused and tailored to who her clients are. She believes we are all multi-faceted people and hopes that her work captures all of our characteristics. Her goal is to provide a genuine experience and stay as down to earth as possible.

Gina is amazingly talented! Her editing style coupled with the emotion we feel in each and every image is breathtaking! From her wedding photography to her unique niche in equine photography, her immense talent stands out and we hope she continues capturing her clients for a long time to come!

  Photography Credit: GE Creative, LLC

Photography Credit: GE Creative, LLC

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

Behind the lens professionally, 8 years. As a full-time LLC, 2.5 years.

Why did you get started in your industry?

I was in grad school for sport psychology and had some major life changes. My horse got really sick and that was my priority- my advisor and I decided that it was time to part ways because my head+heart weren't in the grad school grind. It was a harsh reality but it opened my eyes to what else is out there. I wanted to do something meaningful that I was passionate about so I took a risk and started a business. BEST. DECISION. EVER.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

Oh man this is hard to answer...there's a few that have hit home emotionally and really solidified why I'm doing what I'm doing. Capturing my first live birth. Being able to experience that for the first time and document the entire labor was life changing- a home birth at that. The fact that I was invited in to capture such a significant and monumental experience will always stay near and dear to my heart. A memorial shoot for a woman and her horse. They had been a team for nearly 27 years and she reached out to have me photograph their bond+relationship before she let him go. I had recently lost my horse Luxe and I had a memorial shoot as well. Those photos helped me during the grieving process and celebrated a love so fierce- I was honored to do the same for someone else. I had a wedding in New York this past year that I did pro-bono for a long time friend of mine and it was the highlight of my year. At first I questioned if it was a smart decision to do such a huge project for free but it paid off. They were SO onboard with my style and really let me have creative freedom-- I wish more couples would put their trust in their photographer and just let the day unfold! They let their guards down and this was the wedding that I truly hit my stride as a wedding photographer. Having that experience and having their trust delivered my best work to date- a reward better than money in my eyes.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

I learned really quick that inconsistent work habits do a lot of damage and we have to set boundaries as self-employed, work from home-ers. I strongly believe that we need our own workspace- not the couch or bed or breakfast counter-I don't care if it's a folding chair and a tv tray, you need a place to work that is ONLY FOR WORK. I stick to M-F and try to sit down at my desk by 8:30 am and will work until 3:30/4- after that it's personal time and I will not work unless I'm loosing time during the week due to something else. I schedule client meetings at night and on the weekends. I'm not one of those people that schedules time blocks for certain tasks-I have a list of priorities that need to get done and to be honest, work on what I'm in the mood for. Self-awareness is crucial to being self-employed- you have to be aware of your habits and what works best for you! AND what doesn't work for you. During the offseason (WI= Dec-April) I spend a lot of time revamping, updating and educating. This is the time when working from the couch and binge watching tv shows is "allowed". When it's wedding season the majority of the day is spent shooting, emailing, editing, blogging, and content planning- the hours get a bit longer because I'm a perfectionist and somehow have a hard time saying no to stuff.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

TIME. Investing A LOT of it to make things work. I don't give myself much wiggle room with my business budget and refuse to collect any credit card debt from it ( I don't even have a business CC!) so the time and effort I invest in my business has to pay off vs. dumping money into courses. I would like to attend a photography workshop in the future but for now I rely on free resources, webinars, local workshops, and networking. Time networking has been the best investment to help my business grow. Also, get an accountant- it's a small investment in the big scheme of things but a huge life+stress saver.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

Get ready to put the work in! Owning+running a photography business isn't taking pretty pictures and letting the cash roll in- it's difficult and frustrating. I think I spend 10% of my time actually shooting. We wear a million different hats in this business and the to-do list never ends. Take calculated risks and form a plan! Don't photograph every inquiry that comes in, find a few niches and get really good at those! Figure out what you want to make and price yourself accordingly. Set aside money for taxes, your business, and for yourself. It took me 2+ years to actually start paying myself. Be real with yourself and your clients, don't fall for sales pitches+trends that big time social media influencers push on you. It takes time and effort to build a business/brand and it will NOT happen overnight. Also, don't obsess over social media and having a perfect feed- it'll get in your head and consume you. 75% of my leads come from vendor referrals, word of mouth, and strategic advertising (i.e. local wedding blogs, the knot, killer SEO). Learn how to be self aware + recognize your strengths/weaknesses, ask for help when you need it. Outsource what you aren't able to learn and do it yourself. Attend Rising Tide Society meetings, look for other small business groups that meet. Reach out to seasoned veterans and take them to coffee. I promise you that finding other creative small business owners will save your sanity and open up a million new doors. Help others when they need it and don't expect anything in return (karma is real friends). Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate- BE THE PERSON EVERYONE WANTS TO WORK WITH. Shoot+create for yourself to push your own boundaries and to keep getting better. Always remember that success takes time, do things right and be patient. Most importantly- Have fun and do the things you're passionate about!

I LOVE meeting+helping other creatives! Please reach out if you have any questions, want to dig in deeper, are feeling stuck, bounce ideas off of someone or just make a new friend. As one of my favorite educators, Ben Sasso, always says- "We're in this together".

  Photography Credit: GE Creative, LLC

Photography Credit: GE Creative, LLC

Gina, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We can't wait to see all of the beautiful work you create in the future! Now, let's all go follow Gina and leave her some love!

Website: https://ge-creative.com/
Instagram: @ge.creative
Facebook: GE Creative, LLC

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | The Perkins Photographers | Wedding & Engagement Photographers

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, The Perkins Photographers!

Captivating Creatives Feature | The Perkins Photographers | Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Meet Laura! Based in one of our favorite locations, Palm Springs, CA;  Laura is a wedding and engagement photographer with a photojournalistic style of natural light imagery. She tries to make every wedding day she photographs unique to the couple and capture "in-between moments" and small details that show off their special day perfectly. We could not be more excited to feature The Perkins Photographers gorgeous work on our blog! Her unique approach to photography makes her work stand out and we have no doubt she wows her clients like she has us!

 Photo Credit: The Perkins Photographers

Photo Credit: The Perkins Photographers

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

10 years

Why did you get started in your industry?

Photography is my passion and I did not want to work in a corporate environment. Shooting weddings is hard work but it doesn't feel like work because I am so in love with it. I don't get that passionate about any other type of work, so I decided to make a career out of what makes me happy.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

Being able to photograph close friends' weddings has truly been the highlight. I completely immerse myself in any wedding, but being able to really jump in and photograph a wedding where I know the couple makes the wedding feel even more exciting to me.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

When I am not photographing a wedding or engagement, my day is coffee, answering emails, and editing photos. I freelance as a photo editor for other wedding photographers and fill my weekdays with meeting prospective wedding clients at local Palm Springs coffee shops, photographing lifestyle images for various local artists and magazines, and managing my social media outlets.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

My 50mm lens and my full-frame camera. I almost exclusively shoot with that lens at weddings because of its large aperture and low-light ability.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

Find yourself at least one person who you can network with that has been in the photography industry you want to break into. Ask if you can shadow them when they shoot for various projects or at weddings or portrait sessions, etc. Learn and ask questions. Fill your day with photographing as much as possible and learn your camera inside and out. Lastly, do not compare yourself to other photographers, but instead find what style works best for you and make it your own.

 Photo Credit: The Perkins Photographers

Photo Credit: The Perkins Photographers

Laura, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We can't wait to see what magic you create with your camera this year! Now, let's all go follow Laura and leave her some love!

Website: https://theperkinsphotographers.com/
Instagram: @mrslauraperkins

 

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | VJBurgosPhotography | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, VJBurgosPhotography!

Captivating Creatives Feature | VJBurgosPhotography| Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Meet Valerie! Based in Clifton, NJ, she has a passion for capturing the romance and love between her couples on their wedding day! Her images are bright and beautiful and we love all the detail she has been able to capture through her photography!

 Photo Credit: VJBurgosPhotography

Photo Credit: VJBurgosPhotography

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

3 Years

Why did you get started in your industry?

I was very intrigued with the concept of capturing one of the most important moments in someone's life. Having my photographs be something that they look back to and enjoy for years to come, is one of the most fulfilling feelings.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

Honestly, they're all rewarding because after every session I gain a new member of the VJBurgosPhotography Family!

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

At the start of the day, I focus on a social media post, then normally a photo session and or meeting with a client, and by late afternoon a wonderful editing session with some red wine!

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

Definitely my camera. I had the opportunity to start off with a full frame camera when I started three years ago and I love my baby!

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

It take patience, dedication, and hard work. Be persistent and learn every day a bit more. Pick up your camera everyday and photograph. Never give up the best is really yet to come.

 Photo Credit: VJBurgosPhotography

Photo Credit: VJBurgosPhotography

 

Valerie, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We can't wait to see your continued success in your business this year! Now, friends, let's go follow Valerie and cheer her on!

Website: http://www.vjburgosphotography.com/
Instagram: @vjburgosphotography
Facebook: VJBurgosPhotography

 

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Samantha Zenewicz Photography | Wedding Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, Samantha Zenewicz Photography!

Captivating Creatives Feature | Samantha Zenewicz Photography | Wedding Photographer

Meet Samantha! A wedding photographer based in Erie, Pa., Samantha loves capturing romantic love and sweet moments. She loves light and airy venues with lots of sweet bridal details. Couples who love each other hard and sweet and can laugh with her become her best friends and clients! 

 Photo Credit: Samantha Zenewicz Photography

Photo Credit: Samantha Zenewicz Photography

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

7 years

Why did you get started in your industry?

I loved the art aspect of it, and quickly realized that I really wanted to do more with my work so I started capturing portraits. I felt it wasn't enough and I second shot my first wedding and fell in love with the way they looked at each other. I was hooked.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

I was able to photograph my two best friends gorgeous wedding. It spoke miles to me that they trusted me and my work to give me the honor of capturing their wedding day. I still think those are my favorite images.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

I work from in my home, but I have set office hours that I have dedicated to work. I always start my day with emails and workflow updating through Honeybook (a super awesome workflow manager). Coffee and breakfast are a must after that (because I'm a foodie and easily get hangry. I usually take the afternoon to schedule out social media posting, write blog posts and edit sessions from my queue. If I manage to spend the morning NOT on my phone, I'll sit at lunch with the kids and take some scrolling time. I usually use the late afternoon for playing and shooting if I have a session scheduled. I try super hard to end my work at 5 pm, but we all know that sometimes that just doesn't happen and I start my editing and blogging again after the kids are in bed.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

Education. Education. Education. I love Amy & Jordan and Katelyn James beyond words.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

Ask the questions! Find a photographer who you look up to and ask them the questions! You may end up paying a mentoring fee or wind up buying education, but it is worth it. You can't put value into your work until you value yourself enough to educate yourself. It's a fast-paced world out here and if you don't dive in you'll sink. It's 100% scary but that's part of the excitement I think.

 Photo Credit: Samantha Zenewicz Photography

Photo Credit: Samantha Zenewicz Photography

Samantha, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative. Your wedding photography is incredible and we absolutely love all of the advice to other photographers just starting out!

Website: http://samanthazenewiczphotography.com/
Instagram: @samanthazenewicz
Facebook: Samantha Zenewicz Photography

 

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Jennifer Trahan Co. | Fine Art Wedding Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, Jennifer Trahan Co. 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Jennifer Trahan Co. | Fine Art Wedding Photographer

Meet Jennifer! Based in Austin, TX, Jennifer focuses on fine art wedding photography and is inspired by the love couples have for another! Her portfolio of wedding photography is stunning and her detail shots are swoon-worthy! We are so excited to introduce you all to Jennifer and her amazing business!

 Photo Courtesy of: Jennifer Trahan Co.

Photo Courtesy of: Jennifer Trahan Co.

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

Five years

Why did you get started in your industry?

In 2010, I attended the prestigious Brooks Institute of Santa Barbara, California earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography degree in 2013.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

I am grateful that my entire career is exceptionally rewarding, not just one project but all the weddings I get to be a part of. The most joyous moments are when I get to witness the profound love so many of my clients and their families show each other. The ability to capture those private moments as well as being present for them are my absolute favorite and most rewarding times in my career.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

The majority of weddings happen on Saturdays. Now capturing images are just part of a larger process. That process is a seven day a week affair typically with my computer and editing software. Oh, and coffee, lots of coffee. But on Saturdays you wake up extra early and stay up extra late. It is a day you plan for all week, from gear prep to clothing choices depending on the weather and ceremony location. But the day itself, Saturday, starts with the mind. When I wake up I immediately get in the wedding day mindset. It definitely is a feeling you have to get into; the mindset is knowing that the Bride and her family are looking to you for guidance all day. They will ask for your opinions and thoughts. Having the best answers for their exact needs are something one must be aware of at all times. You must know your gear and your art as well. It is like what my scuba instructor once told me at the beginning of my training: "splash some water on your face so your brain gets the notice that you are about to go underwater". The Wedding Day is an underwater experience and you need your oxygen tank to be full so you can stay alive. Mindset is everything on a wedding day. Then of course you have to be sure you can rise to the challenge for the entire day and that starts with nutrition as well as hydration - I don't just pack camera gear in my bag. This is where you take care of you: water and healthy snacks are a must and they must be easily accessible as well as unobtrusive. You have to be willing to forgo breaks, lunch, and even dinner. Wedding cake alone is only good enough for the typically long late night drive home. Now heart is the one that differs from the mindset and body portion of the day, those two are what I consider the technical side of the wedding day. The heart portion is the part that holds the creative spirit within you. With everything else you have to do like staying on schedule, expecting the unexpected, and predicting the next move before it occurs, yes that is all PART of the job. However the flip side is the heart that goes into the image, it is you being in the moment, stopping the constant rush of thoughts about the shot list and lighting. Heart is you listening to the client and their thoughts and feelings during their day of marriage. This is what allows for the best and most candid images to be captured. It truly is a Saturday of Wedding Day Combat Photography, you must have it all to conquer the day and night if you wish to come out a shining bright light for your clients, which is always the mission. Once you achieve these three key components the rest is time management and knowing your art. These are my typical Saturday's, now Monday - Friday are a different story! More "day of" rapid fire tips for you: arrive early and safely, be unobtrusive whenever possible, always have a backup plan in every situation including the little CF cards in your camera or if your flash gets knocked over by a guest at the reception, have insurance, know your gear, always be willing to stay late, NEVER leave your gear in your vehicle EVER no matter what, grab a piece of cake, and always drive safe or get a hotel room for the night. Lastly, once home immediately backup the images three different ways, always having one off-site backup. Oh and of course have fun.

 Photo Credit: Jennifer Trahan Co.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Trahan Co.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

As a digital photographer, it is very hard being in an industry where anyone can become a "professional photographer" nowadays. This is where I must differentiate myself to survive in such a saturated market. I do so with two things, one is by shooting film photography as often as I can alongside the digital portion. Film brings my passion for photography back to its roots. Film photography allows a photographer to really understand the foundation of photography and a photograph; it is heavenly having that profound understanding and ability. The biggest and most obvious to me though is my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography degree. It isn't the piece of paper though that most think I am speaking of. It is, in fact, the experiences I achieved while at Brooks Institute. The friendships I still have with classmates and instructors. The life lessons as well as the career lessons I learned. Also by having the backstage pass to my "currently working in the industry" instructors. Their generosity to share their most treasured lessons they learned or picked up along their journey as photographers themselves helped me in ways a YouTube video, online course, or workshop couldn't. I always say to those who ask, "no matter how much we all said we couldn't wait to graduate, or how much we dreaded the extremely hard work, and late nights mixed with early morning classes, I would still do it all over again tomorrow". If only for the experiences especially with the people I hold so close to my heart and so high up on the pedestal of gratitude and idolization I have for them and their work.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

It is funny to me that this question is being asked of me now, when just yesterday I read the Winter Edition of the Brooks Institute Alumni Newsletter. This exact question was asked of a few Alumni too. I find it funny because two responses that were total opposites stood out to me then. I did have my own opinion of what I would say and in fact did say to many who looked to become a photographer by ways of Brooks Institute. You see, I was a Tour Guide at Brooks while attending the classes, you could say I was knee deep in it all. Now anyone could get through the humanities or math classes, yes, but the photography courses were a different thing entirely. As I went through my photo courses I became very aware of those who I sadly knew just couldn't cut it, not because of their skill but because of their lack of passion. Witnessing this curated my elevator speech, the speech I always gave while on my tours with the potential students and their families. Here is my advice: If you think this is going to be easy it won't be. If you think it's just pictures, you're wrong. If you don't have the passion and the drive to keep going when you feel like everyone hates your work well then photography isn't for you. You may want to work in photography as a hobby but to build a successful business out of photography, that is a life-long achievement, not a side job. The learning, technology, equipment, software, and clientele are always changing and you are always learning, improving, changing, and investing just to stay one or two steps ahead. If you don't have the consistent drive to do all that and more for the rest of your life then you won't cut it as a business in Photography. Now one of those Alumni stated simply this: "Don't become a photographer. You missed the boat and the market is too saturated for you to join". I feel this is incorrect. Talent is out there always, new and improved with a different way of thinking and doing. If you carry the passion and the drive then do it, learn and become a photographer. The second was the opposite stating anyone can do it if they want to and that you just have to try hard to become a successful photographer. In my opinion, that is not entirely untrue but it takes more than that. Becoming a photographer is becoming a kind of history note taker. Your notes may be different from mine but they both are relevant to the future to come. If photography is just a way to make "easy money" then please just empty your bank account out now and donate it to an animal shelter where it can be useful. Photography isn't just manual mode and auto focus with your kit lens. Photography is an art to be learned and perfected, there are almost 365 days times 3 worth of knowledge put into my brain all about photography and its art and there is always more to be learned, attempted, and achieved. The schooling alone not to mention the amount of gear and software plus the business knowledge needed, as well as building client relations which let me just say takes time and time is always money in photography. Can you do this all? You must know that you can do this wholeheartedly from day one otherwise don't start what you can't finish. It will only be a waste of your time and money. If you do in fact have the guts for this all, well then, welcome I am here to help you!

Jennifer, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative, articulating your business advice so well and inspiring others with your gorgeous photography and the heart behind it!

Website:  https://www.jennifertrahanco.com/
Instagram: @jennifertrahanco
Facebook: Jennifer Trahan Co.

 

 

Guest Blog Post | Lovely Day Strategy | Marketing to the Millennial Couple

We are so excited to present this guest post from Lindsey Nickel at Lovely Day Strategy! Being an expert on Marketing to Millennials in the wedding industry is crucial to the success of your business. The strategies that worked five to ten years ago are often times no longer relevant when marketing to millennial couples. Please join us as Lindsey shares her best tactics for marketing to millennial couples in this blog post!
 

Let’s start with who is a millennial. The term millennial is a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, according to Webster Dictionary but they are also referred to as Generation Y and Generation Me. They tend to be tech savvy, close with their parents, hardworking and are very comfortable with the internet. When it comes to weddings, they are getting married later in life, have social media prowess, and want personalized experiences. By understanding who they are and their values, you will be able to speak to them in your marketing and turn them into paying clients.

TECHNOLOGY

Millennials have always known a world with technology and therefore are very comfortable using the internet to do research and contact vendors. Prompt responses are essential with inquiries from millennials. Consider an automated email response with preliminary information, so that they know you received their inquiry and they can learn more about your services. This can easily be done through HoneyBook. You can use this http://share.honeybook.com/fQRlP code to get 50% off at Honeybook.

Millennials are very in tune with social media, so be sure that all of your social media accounts are current and active. You won’t look professional if you’re last Instagram post was two months ago. Consistency is key, so map out a content calendar to ensure your social media is always current.

Millennials will definitely visit your website and remember, they have been looking at websites their entire lives. Take time each year to update the photos, services, testimonials and other pages of your site. Aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate websites are important selling points. It is essential that your website is mobile friendly. I repeat, your site MUST be mobile friendly. Your homework after you read this article is to pull up your website on your phone and see if it is mobile friendly.

MULTIPLE PEOPLE PLANNING

Millennials are often close with their parents, so don’t be surprised if one of the moms is also involved in the planning. Parents are still playing a role in paying for weddings, but it’s not unusual to see millennial couples (especially older ones) paying for at least some of it themselves. Once you talk to the couple, it if it is clear that a mom is very involved in the planning, offer to do a separate call with her as well. It’s not uncommon for the mom and couple to jointly attend meetings and make decisions.

PERSONAL TOUCHES

As much as millennials love technology, they still appreciate and want personal touches.

After your automated response to their inquiry, follow up as soon as you can (within 24-36 hours) with a personal response. In the response you can send photos of other weddings you’ve done at their venue, answer their initial questions, or let them know that you are available on their date. During the wedding planning they are looking for how their wedding is going to be different and memorable. It is now common to see an experience (such as the meal or dancing) and the importance of friends and family, together as top priorities.

To help you get started with marketing to millennials, I have a free download for you call Six Must Have Online Tools. Head over to lovelydaystrategy.com to grab it now.

Lindsey Nickel headshot.jpg

Author Bio: 

Lindsey Nickel is a wedding planner at Lovely Day Events and wedding business coach + consultant at Lovely Day Strategy. After seven years as a wedding planner she expanded and launched Lovely Day Strategy to help wedding entrepreneurs be successful, balanced and have fun in their businesses. Based in Napa, Calif. she is a Bay Area native with a passion for outdoors adventures and travel. Lindsey’s work is featured on CNN.com, Style Me Pretty, Brides and more.

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Andrea Cable Photography | Wedding, Engagement & Senior Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, Andrea Cable Photography.

Captivating Creatives Feature | Andrea Cable Photography | Wedding, Engagement and Senior Photographer

Meet Andrea! Andrea Cable Photography is dedicated to primarily capturing in-love couples and high school seniors. Apart from loving Target runs (um, YES!), caffeinated beverages, and mini-golden doodles, she prides herself on creating real, genuine connections with anyone she comes in contact with! We can't wait for you all to get to know her!

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

Since my Junior year of high school, about 4 years!

Why did you get started in your industry?

I realized that I had this deep passion for photographing the little details in life. I began taking senior portraits in high school and loved the social side of doing that. Being able to get to genuinely know other students from my high school was a great experience, especially when I got to give them pictures they would remember forever! After being a second-shooter for a summer in college, I realized that I LOVED capturing weddings, which brings me to today!

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career? 

I really love giving away a session per quarter! When I get to tell clients that their session is free, you can almost see how grateful they are. A thing I've realized is that photography is a luxury, and sometimes people can't afford to get newly updated photos of their family every year. Being able to gift families, couples, or seniors with professional photos of them once a quarter makes me so thankful.

   Photo Credit: Andrea Cable Photography

Photo Credit: Andrea Cable Photography

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

Apart from being a business owner, I'm also a college student! So the majority of my day is spent downing cups of coffee, having a marketing internship and continuing with classes all afternoon. Finally around 6 or 7pm I'm free to finish blog posts, contact clients, do some late-night photo editing, and catch up on the odds and ends of bookkeeping.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

The Amy and Jordan Business Course. Oh my goodness, if you have never taken an online course from these two, DO IT. It will TRANSFORM your business and pays for itself in the sheer fact that it brings more clients to you.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

If you don't know how to do something, seek help from another professional in that industry. Whether its taxes, bookkeeping, editing, or even writing blog posts, find a "business bestie" that can be a mentor and friend in this crazy entrepreneurial world! When I was in high school, I had NO IDEA I had to pay Sales Tax. I didn't even know what it was until I looked it up. After calling up an accountant and looking online, I fixed the damage I did to myself..but that's such a good example of why you should seek advice from an actual professional.

   Photo Credit: Andrea Cable Photography

Photo Credit: Andrea Cable Photography

Andrea, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative!

Website: https://andreacablephotography.com/
Instagram: @andreacablephotography
Facebook: Andrea Cable Photography

 

 

Guest Blog Post | The Creative Chief | Networking Strategies for Introverts That Cause Natural Conversation and Enable You to Get the Best Information

We are so excited to present this guest post from Jenaé Elizabeth at The Creative Chief! We all know that networking with other professionals is such an important aspect of our businesses, but as an introvert, this can seem absolutely terrifying! Please join us as Jenaé shares her best strategies for networking for introverts!

Networking….we’ve all heard it all before

  • Your network is your net worth
  • The most successful people network 4-5 hours per month
  • Networking is necessary to build your business

But networking is daunting and for introverts, it can make our insecurities really come to the surface -- and that means we’re not the most comfortable when connecting.

In fact, most people, regardless of their personality type find networking to be sleazy and stressful.  But non-traditional networking can be very enjoyable.

Here are four proven strategies that create natural networking conversations

  1. Create a new networking outlook: Regardless of if you’re an introvert or extrovert, as a creative, you probably draw inspiration from people, places, and things. A simple strategy that can help shift your mindset is to think of networking as “inspiration activity”.  Put your mind at ease by seeing this as an opportunity to be inspired.  Think less intrusion. More inspiration.

  2. Be the first! Most of the time introverts find themselves going with the flow of large crowds or being the responder; which oftentimes is the root cause of overwhelm

    • Being one of the first people to arrive at a networking event makes the room manageable.  It’s quieter and enables you to take advantage of an intimate setting. Plus, once the crowd gets too large you will either find yourself knee deep in meaningful conversation with just a few people that you met early on in the night or once you’ve had enough, you can slide out of the event and it wouldn’t have been a waste of time.

    • Being the first person to introduce yourself is super scary (I totally get it) but it also puts you in control of the conversation, which is reassuring.
  3. Create a listening lab - Most people initiate conversations with the goal of talking about themselves.  In this instance, you’re initiating conversation with the goal of being a listener.  Here’s a simple strategic sample script:

    • You: Hey lady,  I like your _______________(shoes, shirt, purse, earrings, nails.

    • Them: Thanks so much.  This find was fabulous

    • You: I’m _________ (insert name)

    • Them: I’m ________ (insert name) 

    • You: How did you hear about this _____________ (insert name of event) 

    • Them: They answer

    • You: What’s your creative genius? (or the standard, what do you do?)

    • Them: They tell you their unique value proposition. (i.e. I help _______, do ______, so they can ________)

    • You: Oh that’s cool, tell me more about that? How did you get into that line of work? That sounds really cool, what’s the best part of your biz? (the goal is to ask them something open ended that will give them the opportunity to share more about their biz)

    • Them: They talk, and talk, and (cause people love to talk about themselves) 

    • You: Listen 

  4. Activate your spidey senses.  As you’re listening, hone in on three things that can help the person you’re chatting with achieve whatever it is that they are talking about

    • Are they talking about problems that you can solve? If so they are a potential client. Don’t immediately outline your services, but offer a simple solution to one their pain points. i.e . I used to struggle with _______ too, have you tried _________ or one of my clients struggled with _______ too, have you tried _________

    • Do I know someone in their industry I can connect them to? (cause creatives love new friends). If so, I’m going to either make a live introduction or i’m going to respond by sharing that I’d like to connect them to ____________who does _____________

    • Can I recommend their services to someone? If so, tell them! They will be excited and flattered that you’re going to give them a referral

Remember all people, regardless of personality type classify networking events as slightly sleazy. This means people are on the defensive and think you’re coming in with the hope of getting something from them.

If they walk away knowing that you added value to their life by listening first, connecting them to possible collaborator, referring their services, or solving a pain point for them, then you easily set yourself apart from the crowd of takers.

Over time, the return on the investment of networking will payoff cause givers always get.

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Author Bio:

Hi, I’m Jenaé Elizabeth, founder of The Creative Chief.  I’m sick of seeing creative chiefs, like yourself, fold on their fortunes and quit on their big idea because the hustle was too real. I’m on a mission to give you the strategy to stop the struggle.

After starting a successful dance studio from scratch, and growing it to 6 locations I became a sought after business strategist and speaker. I help creatives who sit in the CEO seat strategize ideas, organize an action plan, monetize their mission, and mobilize a team so that they can lead their empire and live with ease.

Website: thecreativechief.com

Email: jenae@thecreativechief.com

Instagram: @thecreativechief

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Let It Be Photography | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

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We are so excited to introduce our next Captivating Creative to the blog! Welcome to the blog, Megan Tammaro with Let It Be Photography.

Captivating Creatives Feature | Let It Be Photography | Wedding Photographer

Meet Megan! A Wedding Photographer, based in Cape May, NJ, Megan specializes in capturing adventure-seeking couples who are madly in love! Her work is STUNNING in all of her galleries and we are in love with her website, her adorable family featured on her about page and our mutual love of sweet treats!

  Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

Since 2011

Why did you get started in your industry?

Becoming a mom in 2008 is why I picked up a DSLR. I wanted to take better photos of my son!

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

That's tough, there are so many amazing projects I've done. The one that stands out the most... A wedding I shot a few years ago, A family member of the bride had reached out and had told me the bride was diagnosed with terminal cancer and that they were planning her dream wedding, I offered my services at no cost, and the family was just incredible! It was a beautiful day full of love and amazing vendors who came together to make this fairy-tale wedding come true. The bride passed away not long after the wedding. I still keep in contact with the family. That wedding made a huge impact on my life & Business!

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business? 

Waking up early, getting my kids up & ready for school. Then emails, website design, constantly working on new projects! Weekends are usually spent shooting weddings!

  Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

What has been the best investment you have made in your business? 

My website! It was a big investment, but I know people are impressed when they view it! I've gotten countless amounts of compliments on it since I released it!

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

Don't do it alone! There are so many amazing encouraging groups on facebook these days that weren't around when I first started! It's surprising how many people are willing to help you out when you're starting out! Also, follow the beat to your own drum, do what you were called to do. Do not worry about what everyone else is doing!

Megan, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We love your work and can't wait to see you continue to capture beautiful images for all of your lovely clients! Friends! Let's go follow Megan and cheer her on!

  Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

Photo Credit: Let It Be Photography

Captivating Creatives Feature | Kerry McIntyre Photography | Event Photographer

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Our Captivating Creatives series has been AMAZING thus far! We can't wait to share with you all of the other creatives that are going to be a part of this series! Let's introduce this week's Captivating Creative, Kerry McIntyre! 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Kerry McIntyre Photography | Event Photographer

Meet Kerry! An event photographer, based in Lansdale, PA, Kerry specializes in corporate events, University events and private events such as weddings! We are absolutely blown away by Kerry's talent! Her work is GORGEOUS and we had such a hard time narrowing down the photos to use because they were all so amazing!

Now, let's get to the interview!

How long have you been in business?

3 years

Why did you get started in your industry?

It was actually not the plan, but once I graduated college, I found I kept very busy with photographing projects and I really enjoy the work.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

The most rewarding project has been my continuing volunteer work, photographing animals up for adoption in animal shelters.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business?

Each day is actually quite different due to the freelance nature of what I do.

  Photography Credit: Kerry McIntyre Photography

Photography Credit: Kerry McIntyre Photography

What has been the best investment you have made in your business?

My best investment has been going to photo conferences. They are very inspiring and a great way to grow and learn from others in the same field. I have also been able to network while at these conferences.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

Work for other photographers first so you can learn from them and how they organize their business. It will help the learning curve and hopefully help you be more successful.

Kerry, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We loved learning more about you and your amazing business! Now, friends - let's go follow Kerry and cheer her on!!

Website: https://www.kerrymcintyrephotography.com/
Instagram: @kerry_mcintyre_photo
Facebook: Kerry McIntyre Photography

 

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Dainty Bella Photography | Fine Art Wedding Photographer

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Hi friends! We are SO excited to share our new series, Captivating Creatives right here on our blog! We have been so blessed to work with so many amazing photographers and wedding professionals and are constantly blown away by the talent in the industry! Grab a cup of coffee (or tea), get to know our second creative and help us celebrate these amazing businesses together!

Captivating Creatives Feature | Dainty Bella Photography| Fine Art Wedding Photographer

Meet Isabel! A wedding photographer based in Fresno, CA, Isabel focuses on fine art wedding photography and portraits. She loves focusing on natural lights and natural moments -- the less posed the better! And, if you are looking for a destination wedding photographer, Isabel is your girl -- she loves to travel!

Now, let's get to the interview!

  Photo Courtesy: Dainty Bella Photography

Photo Courtesy: Dainty Bella Photography

How long have you been in business? 

3 years

Why did you get started in your industry?

I love photography! I have always loved weddings and was shy to take the leap into focusing on the wedding industry. Last year 2016, I began to do just that!

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career?

I was able to photograph my brother and sister in law's wedding and it was the most fun and meaningful wedding I could ever be a part of.

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business? 

I am an early riser. I feel my best in the morning. I wake up, make my coffee and toast, and work on the objectives for the day. Whether it is emails, sending out contracts or editing photos, I am always looking to be productive and get these tasks done by 10am. This way, I can go on with my day with less pressure.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business? 

Paying professionals to critique my work! I have always struggled to accept criticism. As soon as I decided to be open to accepting this valuable knowledge from experienced pros-I became much more focused on what I needed to work on in order to better myself and my business.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry?

First things first-get a camera. It doesn't have to be what the pros use. Get yourself a basic DSLR that allows you to learn about the basic functions of a camera. Don't worry about lenses for at least the first three months. After that, shoot shoot shoot. Do not wait for opportunities to happen. Create the opportunities for yourself. Oh and get your eyes checked regularly-they are your number one tool!

  Photo Courtesy: Dainty Bella Photography

Photo Courtesy: Dainty Bella Photography

Isabel, thank you so much for being a Captivating Creative! We loved learning more about you and your amazing business! Now, friends - let's go follow Isabel and cheer her on!!

Website: https://www.daintybella.com/
Instagram: @daintybellaphotography
Facebook: Dainty Bella Photography

 

 

Captivating Creatives Feature | Derek Couts Photography | Nashville Wedding Photographer

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Hi friends! We are SO excited to share our new series, Captivating Creatives right here on our blog! We have been so blessed to work with so many amazing photographers and wedding professionals and are constantly blown away by the talent in the industry! Grab a cup of coffee (or tea), get to know our first creative and help us celebrate these amazing businesses together!

Captivating Creatives Feature | Derek Couts Photography | Nashville Wedding Photographer

Meet Derek! A wedding photographer based in beautiful Nashville, TN, Derek believes in building relationships and growing couples closer together authentically and providing brides and grooms with an authentic and exciting wedding experience through photography. Since we started chatting, Derek has been one of the friendliest people we have met! The couples he works with are so lucky to work with a photographer that they can call a friend!

  Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

Now, let's get to the interview!

 

How long have you been in business? 

2 years

Why did you get started in your industry? 

I got started in wedding photography not long after I got married myself. When my wife and I got married, the next day it felt like it didn't happen other than we were waking up in our resort room for our Honeymoon. That same day, however, we received a sneak peak of our wedding and we felt like we were served well. When it comes to my life's Mission Statement, the same phrase always pops in my head, "To Serve." When I think of one of the best times I've been served is when I think of my wedding photographer and the joy my wife and I get consistently when we take the time to look at our photos. A few months prior to our wedding, I bought my first camera and was told I take good photos (as most photographers are told at the start) but I didn't think anything of it until I realized it was a tool I could use to serve others and help grow relationships.

What has been the most rewarding project you have worked on in your career? 

The most rewarding project I worked on actually was not related to photography directly, but I wouldn't have been able to do this had it not been for the skills I learned from wedding photography. In 2015, I traveled to Nicaragua with Brock Gill (a magician) to shoot a team serving the people there by entertaining them with magic and ministering to them as well as praying with them. This trip was one that helped me realize that everything caught on camera, whether that be video or stills, is a story, and underneath that story lies a person's life. It's not about the lighting and it isn't about the pose. Instead, it's about the authenticity of the moment, which is why I focus on authentic engagement and wedding photos now.

  Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

What does a day in the life look like for you in your business? 

A day in the life of my business starts at 8:30PM due to my day job. Once 8:30 is around, I'm up until 1:00am. I check and respond to most emails throughout the day, but otherwise, I'm organizing shoots, reading up on new techniques in business and photography, and emailing vendors/venues to schedule meetings. Although I go all in at 8:30, I'm available to my clients and anyone I have correspondence with at any time of the day.

What has been the best investment you have made in your business? 

The best investment has been in myself. By that I mean books on book on books! I've read some that just didn't seem to get me anywhere, but occasionally I would come across some that would take me in the next step, and the right one at that.

What advice would you give to a person just starting out in this industry? 

Be patient. It's going to take time, but it's worth every second. Also, stay focused and get off Facebook.

  Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

Photo Credit: Derek Couts Photography

Derek, thank you so much for being our very first Captivating Creative! We loved learning more about you and your amazing business! Now, friends - let's go follow Derek and cheer him on!!

Website: derekcouts.com
Instagram: @derekcoutsphoto
Facebook: DerekCoutsPhoto

 

 

What Websites Can I Use to Host My Client Guide?

There are so many options available when it comes to where you can host your welcome magazine or client guide. Most of these sites allow you to send a direct link from the magazine you uploaded straight to a client, or the ability to embed on your website.

Note: while there are FREE plans for many of these options, they often come with advertisements along your welcome magazine. If you are interested in an ad-free customizable option, you typically need to upgrade to a paid plan.

How to Embed a Welcome Magazine on Wordpress

If you have a beautiful welcome magazine or client guide, you want to show it off, right? There are so many great ways to do just this! You can print your magazine, email to a client or even embed the magazine on your website! 

If you have a Wordpress website, we will walk you through how to do just that! 

We recommend using a site like https://www.issuu.com

Note that there are other sites where you can also host your magazine, but this tutorial will walk you through how to use this service!

  • To embed an Issuu you will need to create or edit a Post or Page on your Wordpress site. 
  • Grab the embed URL for the Issuu from your Issuu account.
  • Click on "Share" then "Embed". This will pop-up an overlay with the link you’ll need.
  • Paste it on a line by itself in your Visual Editor. Make sure that it is not hyperlinked.

Note: Based on the type of Issuu account you have, you may see advertisements on the sidebar of your magazine. If you wish to remove the advertisements, you may need to upgrade your Issuu account to a paid version.

If you need additional assistance, you can also review the instructions from Wordpress here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/issuu-embeds/

How to Embed a Welcome Magazine on Squarespace

If you have a beautiful welcome magazine or client guide, you want to show it off, right? There are so many great ways to do just this! You can print your magazine, email to a client or even embed the magazine on your website! 

If you have a Squarespace website, we will walk you through how to do just that! 

We recommend using a site like https://www.issuu.com

Note that there are other sites where you can also host your magazine, but this tutorial will walk you through how to use this service!

1. Ensure your welcome magazine or client guide is saved on your computer as a PDF saved as pages (not spreads).

2. Create an account in Issuu and use the Upload button to upload your PDF magazine.

3. Once your magazine finishes uploading, locate the file in your Publication List.

4. Click the Embed option under the correct magazine.

5. Customize the appearance of the embedded magazine and click Save and Get Code.

6. Click the Copy to Clipboard option.

7. Login to your Squarspace site and navigate to the page you'd like to embed your magazine onto.

8. Click Edit and Add a New Content Block. When the popup appears choose Code.

9. Paste the copied code from Issuu into the box and click Apply.

10. Click Save to Publish the changes.

11. You will need to logout of your Squarespace site in order to see the magazine published on the page.

Note: Based on the type of Issuu account you have, you may see advertisements on the sidebar of your magazine. If you wish to remove the advertisements, you may need to upgrade your Issuu account to a paid version.

If you need additional assistance, you can also review the instructions from Squarespace here: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206545267-Using-Issuu-with-Squarespace#toc-step-2---create-your-issuu-code

NEW OFFERING: Welcome Magazine Templates + Concierge Service!

We're SO excited to announce our brand new welcome magazine templates + concierge service!

When talking to other creative business owners about Captured Elegance, we would usually get the question of, "Do you guys have anything that allows people to pick out a magazine before designing it?" 

We loved specializing in custom welcome magazines for our clients. We felt like it provided a unique experience, in that they could work closely with us and have something truly branded to their business for their clients. But, we began thinking over the past few months about those creatives that maybe had a smaller budget because they were just starting out, or they wanted to maintain more control of the design of the magazine.

Because of this, we're now offering magazine templates in both Photoshop and InDesign versions for you to download! Simply purchase the magazine you love and the file will be sent to you, along with tutorials and instructions of how to assemble it. Still not wanting to do the full assembly yourself? We have a concierge service that will allow you to simply send us your photos and information you want in the magazine and you pick the template we assemble it in!

Fear not, though, we do still offer (and LOVE!) designing completely custom welcome magazines. Simply click "Custom Magazines" and read more about it!


HUGE thank you to Amanda Estep Photography and Janisel Rosenthal Photography for allowing our magazines to look SO beautiful by the use of your photos. You ladies are the best!

What Should a Boudoir Photographer Include in Their Welcome Magazine?

If you're a boudoir photographer, listen up! We're showing you tonight a few examples of what you can include in your welcome magazine.

Remember, we recommend a welcome magazine be sent in one of two parts of your process. You can either send it to a prospective client to show off your process and pricing guide to warm them up in to signing with you. Or, you can send it after that client has signed along with a welcome gift to them!

Here's what we recommend including in your magazine:

  1.  Information About You - Boudoir photography is a very unique specialty, in that many of your clients may not be 100% confident or comfortable walking in to your studio. They may be scared or nervous about what to expect and even meeting you! Use your magazine to provide them with a history about you, your experience, and explain your passion for boudoir photography and why. This will help your client to build trust in you, since you'll be the one taking care of the session and their finished product.
     
  2. All About Your Process - When does your client need to pay? What should they bring with them? Is makeup included? Is hair included? When should they expect to receive photos? How many photos? All of these questions are probably running through the head of your client. Make sure your magazine covers all of these, even if you tell them over the phone or via email!
     
  3. Examples of Sessions - Show off your beautiful work! Of course, make sure you have the permission of your previous clients before placing their photos in your magazine. 
     
  4. How to Prepare - Let your clients know how they can prepare for their session! Do they need to buy/bring clothes? What kind of clothes? Where do you recommend shopping, if they bring clothes? Should they bring makeup? Make sure your client is prepared!
     
  5. Contact Information - Make sure your client always has information handy of how they can reach you for any questions!

Are you ready for your custom designed welcome magazine?! Contact us and we'd love to design your boudoir magazine for your business!

What Should You Include in the About Me Section of your Welcome Magazine?

Trying to figure out what to include in the about section of your welcome magazine?! We always recommend adding a section at the beginning of your magazine to introduce you/your business to clients! Keeping your about me section short & sweet will ensure your client can quickly read this information before moving on to other important pages in your magazine! Pair this section with a gorgeous, professional headshot and perhaps a few behind the scenes photos, and you are good to go! For the content in your about me, here are some things to think about: What experience do you have? Why do you love doing what you do day in and out in your business? What sets you apart from your competition? Why would clients LOVE to work with you? Have you thought about your "about me" lately? How can you display this information to your clients that provides a quick summary, but catches their attention quickly? 

Tips & Tricks to Include in your Welcome Magazine

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We know that one of the biggest goals of your welcome magazine is to educate your clients! One way to provide more value to your clients is by including tips and tricks to prepare them for working with you!

Take a look at some of the common questions you get asked by clients! What can you include in your welcome magazine to provide the information upfront, prepare them for working with you, and reduce the time you need to spend answering these questions!

For photographers, we recommend including a what to wear section, how to prepare for a session or an ideal wedding timeline for wedding photographers.

For wedding coordinators, you could include a sample RSVP list or a timeline of what activities need to be completed in specific months before a wedding.

What is one tip or trick you could include in your welcome magazine?

Why You Should Include Professional Photography in your Welcome Magazine

There is no better way to display your work than to showcase it in your welcome magazine with beautiful photography! No matter what industry you are in, it is important to have high-resolution photos of your work included in your magazine. For photographers, this is a simple task to fill their magazine with their best work. For other creative businesses, we always recommend working with a local photographer to display professional high-end images for your magazine, which can also be used for your website and other promotional materials! 

We always recommend that our clients choose a captivating photo for their front cover of their magazine! This is the first impression that your clients will see and you want to set the stage for your high-end experience!

Throughout the magazine, we typically design with a combination of gorgeous, full-size images and pages with a collage of multiple photos. This not only gives variety to the design, it also helps to break up any pages of text that the clients has included in their magazine!

Having high-resolution photographs for your design is so important, especially for those that are printing their magazine. The images are able to be printed at full size with the maximum amount of clarity.

If you are not a photographer, as we mentioned, it is still so important to include professional quality images in your magazine. The difference between low resolution personal photos and high resolution professional photographs can make all the difference when you are trying to attract your ideal client!

For the back cover of the magazine, we also recommend selecting an image that will leave a lasting impression, but may be more of a detail shot that we can also design with your contact information for easy access!

Would you love a custom welcome magazine to WOW your clients? Contact us to learn more!